Wine woes: Tariffs, Brexit cloud French Beaujolais season

In this photo taken on Tuesday, Nov 12, 2019, bottles of wine are pictured in the Vinescence cellar in Saint Jean d'Ardieres, in the Beaujolais region, eastern France, Celebration is the mot du jour in France’s Beaujolais region on the third Thursday of November, when winemakers and sellers uncork the season’s Beaujolais Nouveau with feasting and fanfare.

Alcohol, not opioids, is the substance that caused the most hospital admissions and emergency department visits among a group of Pennsylvania seniors, new analysis shows.

Statewide, Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council found 7,833 admissions and visits caused by substance abuse among those in Medicare fee-for-service plans from 2016 through 2018.

Well over half — 4,816 — were caused by alcohol. Opioids were second, at 1,753. The rest were:

  • Sedatives: 692
  • Cocaine: 181
  • "All other": 409

“By focusing on Pennsylvania’s older residents, we’re hoping to raise awareness on how substance use, alcohol in particular, affects this population,” said agency director Joe Martin.

The report had a total but not a breakdown for Lancaster County: 217 over the three years. And its unadjusted rate was 3.8 per 1,000 seniors, below the statewide rate of 6.1.

Overall, just under a third of the visits and admissions were caused by overdoses. Average Medicare payments for hospital and emergency visits, respectively, were as follows: $6,289 and $525 for alcohol and $7,901 and $509 for opioids.